Twin Cities WRS Seminar

Process Development for Nutrients Removal and Recycle from Rural and Agricultural Wastes


Dr. Bo Hu
Dept of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering

April 27, 2018


Nutrients, such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and sulfur (S), are vital components for fertilizers and animal feeds, while they are also the major pollutants from rural domestic wastewater and agricultural manure. Removal and recycle these nutrient pollutant from rural and agricultural wastes can minimize the environmental impacts of agricultural activities, alleviate the dependency on fossil fuels, and bring benefits to local communities. Dr. Bo Hu will introduce his research at University of Minnesota related to this area, emphasizing on biomass utilization, industrial fermentation and agricultural waste management. His research group is currently working on projects to remove phosphorus, nitrogen, and sulfur from animal feeds and agricultural waste via different approaches, including mixotrophic microalgal and fungal cultivation and microbial electrochemical cells, and projects to develop and study the anaerobic degradation and industrial digestion systems. Dr. Hu’s team at UMN has set up several standard procedures, such as 16s rDNA fingerprint screening and microbial community analysis via high throughout pyrosequencing methods to study the bacteria community, 18s rDNA ITS sequences to identify fungal species, genetic modification of baker’s yeast; and several conversion platforms such as attached biofilm microalgae/fungal lichen cultivation, pelletized fungal fermentation, solid and semi-solid state fermentation. In this presentation, he will explain several case studies in the process development for nutrients removal and recycle, including a novel cell pelletization and attached growth method to immobilize and harvest fungal and microalgae cells, microbial electrochemical methods to remove nutrients from manure and an integrated process to extract phosphorus chemicals from corn ethanol industrial coproducts.